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Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Almost 2,000 former Justice Department officials have signed onto a statement condemning the DOJ's decision to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn and calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign for "repeated assaults on the rule of law."

Why it matters: There has been intense backlash by Democrats and many career prosecutors over Barr's interventions in criminal cases against President Trump's allies. Barr denied doing "the president's bidding" in an interview with CBS News last week, arguing that "partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice."

The big picture: The group reiterated its previous call on Barr to resign after he intervened in the case of Roger Stone, claiming that he has again used the DOJ as "a tool to further President Trump's personal and political interests." But the officials conceded there is little chance Barr will do so, and they asked Congress to censure him.

Details: The group said it supports the decision of the career prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone and Flynn cases after Barr intervened, commending them for "upholding the oath that we all took."

  • It also asked the judge overseeing the Flynn case to reject the government's motion to throw out the charges.
  • The group said the DOJ's reasoning "does not hold up to scrutiny, given the ample evidence that the investigation was well-founded and — more importantly — the fact that Flynn admitted under oath and in open court that he told material lies to the FBI in violation of longstanding federal law."

What they're saying:

"The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented. If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we would be prosecuted for it."
"Attorney General Barr's repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests have undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department’s decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case."

Go deeper: Ex-DOJ official claims Barr "twisted" her words in motion to dismiss Flynn case

Go deeper

DOJ to send federal agents to St. Louis and Memphis

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it will send federal law enforcement agents to St. Louis, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn., to help stem violent crime.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's deployment expands its "Operation Legend" program as President Trump has blamed spikes of violence across the U.S. on activists' efforts to "dismantle and dissolve" local law enforcement. Democrats have accused Trump of targeting Democratic-run cities as part of his "law and order" messaging strategy following the police killing of George Floyd.

43 mins ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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